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Singing for Others’ Suppers: Japan Benefit


Yui Anzai, a member of The Boston Cecilia who has spearheaded an upcoming benefit concert for Japan, was born in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, site of the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. Her father’s work brought the family to New Jersey when she was eleven. When a chorus club was founded in her elementary school, she not only joined but served as the president for a semester before leaving Japan. Back in Boston, she sang with Northeastern University Choral Society and subsequently, Cambridge Madrigal Singers (now Cambridge Chamber Singers), New England Conservatory Concert Choir, and the Video Game Orchestra; she also freelances as a church soloist.

She has organized a concert at Trinity Church, Boston on Sunday, April 16, at 3 pm. The program, to be conducted by Donald Teeters, music director of The Boston Cecilia, will feature Gabriel Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine, J.S. Bach’s Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV 668, and the Requiem of Gabriel Fauré. The soloists will be Jessica Cooper, soprano, and Robert Honeysucker, baritone, with Barbara Bruns as organist. One hundred percent of receipts will go to benefit earthquake and tsunami victims.

“This concert idea originated as an open sing when I first approached Don and Barbara,” Yui Anzai said. “With their and president Jen Hendrey’s help, it quickly evolved into something much larger, allowing us to do more to benefit those in need. So many people didn’t even hesitate to lend their hand, and that for me has been very encouraging.”

In addition to members of The Boston Cecilia, Anzai has enrolled singers from a phenomenal list of local singing organizations: Back Bay Chorale, Boston Baroque, Cantilena, Chorus pro Musica, Coro Allegro, De Varonistas (made up of a group of singers from Longy who are fans of the legendary choral music director), Masterworks Chorale, MIT Meridian Singers, New England Classical Singers, New World Chorale, Newton Choral Society, Salisbury Singers of Worcester, Schola Nocturna, Silktones, Spectrum Singers, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, The Paul Madore Chorale, Women Song, and church choirs in Andover, Boston, Cambridge, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Lincoln, Milton, and Weston. They also acknowledge the donated  performances of professional instrumentalists of the Boston Musicians’ Association

John O’Donnell and Masumi Homma O’Donnell, as well as the Japanese Bostonians Support Line, are underwriting the operating costs. Trinity Church is donating the space, and all the performers are donating their services, as did David Garrett from,, Makepeace Digital Imaging and Boston Metro.

In addition to the concert, the benefit organizers are running an advance online raffle, with numerous prizes donated by local businesses and music organizations. Visit The Boston Cecilia’s website for information on donations and the raffle.

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